UNWRAPPING THE GREATEST GIFT
"And she will bear a Son; and you shall call His name Jesus, for it is He who will save His people from their sins." Now all this took place that what was spoken by the Lord through the prophet might be fulfilled, saying, "BEHOLD, THE VIRGIN SHALL BE WITH CHILD, AND SHALL BEAR A SON, AND THEY SHALL CALL HIS NAME IMMANUEL," which translated means, "GOD WITH US."
Gifts are certainly wonderful things. Most people love to unwrap a present and find something special inside. Can you imagine receiving a gift and failing to unwrap it? You don’t really know what you have until you take the time to check it out.
I heard about a lawyer in Ohio who received a special gift by a wealthy client for services rendered. After unwrapping the gift, the lawyer discovered a beautiful leather wallet. He was not interested in the wallet and simply gave it away to the shoe-shine boy working on the street. Needless to say, the lawyer was extremely forlorn when his client asked him about the gift … and the $5000 cash he placed inside it as a bonus. It was a gift within a gift, but he failed to notice.
2000 years ago, God gave us His Son, wrapped in swaddling clothes. He was the greatest gift ever given, a gift within a gift as this little baby was the creator of the world and the Savior of all mankind. Tragically, the majority of people missed the treasure that was right before them—God in the flesh!
The prophecy concerning Jesus is that He would be Immanuel, God with us. Why would God want to be with us?
God wanted to be with us to save us from our sins. The name Jesus literally means “Yahweh saves.” You see, we cannot save ourselves. We have an incurable sickness called sin. No matter how hard we try, we cannot rid ourselves of sin. It is like our shadow, dogging our every step. Only Jesus provided the remedy for our sins through His death, burial, and resurrection.
God wanted to be with us to help us in our struggles. The Lord saves us in order to live inside of us—guiding us, encouraging us, and empowering us to live for Him. He is for us, not against us. And even when we fail and falter, He is there to pick us up by His grace and get us back on track with Him. He is truly “a friend that sticks closer than a brother.”
God wanted to be with us so we could one day be with Him. The Lord came to be with us, to die for us, and to rise for us so that we could live with Him forever. He willingly went to the cross so that we could go to heaven.
As you prepare your heart for Christmas, remember His wonderful name Immanuel, God with us. No matter how difficult, cranky, and cantankerous you might be, Jesus still loves you and wants to be with you! Why don’t you yield yourself to Him and enjoy the unfathomable gift of His presence!
Pastor Jeff Schreve,
From His Heart Ministries
Dr. Jeff Schreve believes that no matter how badly you may have messed up in life, God still loves you and has a wonderful plan just for you. From His Heart provides real truth, love and hope on over 700 radio stations each day, in 182 countries each week on TV, and is always available online. Pastor Jeff takes no income from this ministry. All donations go to furthering the broadcast outreach. As a listener/viewer supported ministry, we thank you for joining with us to help speak the truth in love to a lost and hurting world. Go to www.fromhisheart.org for more information.
The Church in the Last Days - Series
In Paul’s letters to the Thessalonians, he talks about the signs of the times, the Rapture, and the rise of the Antichrist. In order to live an effective Christian life, we need to keep the death of Christ, the resurrection of Christ and the return of Christ on the forefront of our minds and hearts. In this series, Pastor Jeff Schreve shares the good news of the return of the King and how we are to live a life of expectation, for our blessed hope is coming soon!